Wednesday, March 19, 2008

14 Carrot Cafe

14 Carrot Cafe
2305 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 324-1442

Five out of Ten
14 Carrot Cafe in Seattle

Full of neighborhood charm and breakfast served all day, 14 Carrot is a breakfast spot that we have actually gone to over and over again. Introduced to me by Ethan, my restaurant and spelling mentor, 14 Carrot has a really good cup of coffee, a total lack of pretentiousness, and a great assortment of omelets prepared well and served quickly.

I am finally getting around to blogging 14 Carrot, after having been there multiple times in the last year. This place seems to be one of the first places that comes up when asked, "where should we go?". In the heart of east lake union, 14 Carrot is part neighborhood joint part great place to take visitors. There is ample seating and always a flurry of activity. Half the menu is on chalkboards scattered around the place, which means you pretty much could get eggs with anything you want. I'm not sure what their specialty would be, other than a good endless cup of coffee and fairly attentive service.

14 Carrot is just a great neighborhood place that we find ourselves winding up at all the time. The food, although nothing to rave about, hits the spot. And with the extensive menu, you can find any combination of stuff you are craving. This is a great place to start the day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Etta's Seafood

Etta's Seafood
2020 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 443-6000

Nine out of Ten
Etta's Seafood in Seattle

Finally a breakfast spot that fires on all cylinders. The location, the ambiance, the service, the food, the menu were all worth waking up for. The only possible thing to find to comment negatively on would be the bill, but well worth it given all the other strengths. Etta's is well worth waking up for and heading to on a Sunday morning.

Located at the north end of Pike Place Market, going to Etta's is great for beginning a market run. The view is of Puget Sound, the park, and the totem at the northern tip of the market. Etta's looks to fill up fast so get there early or be ready to wait. But this place is really worth the wait.

The menu is simple and the food is great. There are plenty of northwest styled choices, and of course all the breakfast classics. She had the corned beef hash, which was presented very well. I had the classic EMPT (hold the T). The food had great flavor, great presentation, and good portions. The orange juice was obviously fresh squeezed as well, the bacon well cooked, the toast made from artisan bread, and the potatoes actually heavily spiced (unique for a more touristy place).

The ambiance at Etta's is very enjoyable. Comfortable booths, linen napkins, trendy and fun art and fixtures, and an incredible view make this a place to relax and sip a cup of coffee. The service was impeccable and always kept the coffee cup full. The lounge jazz music makes for a very upbeat mood.

Etta's breakfast is the first place I can recommend without hesitation. A bit pricey, but worth it. With great food and great service, Etta's fits the bill for visitors out of town or locals looking to pick up something at the market.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Breakfast in the UK

I somehow have wound up in the UK frequently, and by frequently I mean an average of once or twice a year for the last few years. This has been either for vacation, stopping through for another destination, or for business (my position is in the UK). So for many reasons, I seem to get there a lot. From the touristy museums, to the wonderful shows, to the off the beaten path areas, it is very easy to be well entertained for a day or a week.

I should be upfront...I am not a huge fan of British food. I find it bland and under spiced, which is surprising given their advanced culture. This is with the exception of a few Indian places. And I must stress, just a few Indian places. More often than not, the Indian food I have stumbled onto in the UK tastes like Campbell's tomato soup poured over boiled chicken and somehow called tikka masalla.
But the one meal of the day I can be happy with is breakfast. There are just some slight modifications from what is standard over there to what is standard here that make it worth waking up for. First, their bacon is better. Called back bacon, it is much less fatty but not nearly as crisp. The other standard that has taken me several trips to get used to and appreciate is the serving of baked beans at breakfast. Also frequently making the plate is a broiled tomato (and said with the longest of ahhhs in tomato) or whole mushrooms. All of which, however, are cooked quite blandly and without many if any spices.

It has been said that to eat well in Britain you should eat breakfast three times a day. This might well be the only meal that you can afford while in London. Coffee and Tea included.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hi-Spot Cafe

Hi-Spot Cafe
1410 34th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Eight out of Ten
Hi-Spot Cafe in Seattle

Quaint but cramped, the High Spot is a great neighborhood cafe with a great menu, attentive service, and good food. You better get there early though, or you are in for a wait.. It is, however, well worth the wait, seating is plentiful, and you can get coffee while you wait.

The high spot is a 3 story conversion tucked in the heart of Madrona with a great homey feeling. The decor is modern coffee house hippie, and the tables are as tightly crammed together as they could possibly be. But if I had them lining as far out the door as they do, I would be cramming them in as well. With no white linens and a very kid friendly atmosphere, the high spot has a great neighborhood feel, but this is not the place to go for a nice quiet breakfast. It is the place to go for a unique menu cooked well.

There are many different options on the menu, many with a distinctive west coast flavor. I went the opposite way and had the chirizo scramble. She had the tried and true EPMT (eggs potato meat toast). The food was well prepared and well presented. The toast was a very hearty artisan, and the potatoes actually had spices and flavor. The cinnamon rolls carried by to other tables often also looked intriguing.

The service, although young, was very attentive. The coffee cups stayed full, the meal came quick and hot, and any requests were met with a friendly smile.
This is a top breakfast spot, and although a little off the beaten path, worth the trip.